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Originally published: 2013-12-20 11:57:14
Last modified: 2013-12-20 11:58:00

Todd and Deep Gap Ruritan clubs honored

by Sherrie Norris

Ruritan clubs from Todd and Deep Gap were among 62 Western North Carolina community clubs and organizations recently recognized for outstanding community service. 

The clubs were honored in November at the 64th annual Honors Awards Program attended by some 250 community leaders at the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville. 

The event is held each year to recognize and reward exceptional community development programs across the mountains; it is hosted by WNC Communities, an organization dedicated to providing a forum for leaders in the mountain region with a central focus on improving the quality of life for rural communities and the agriculture sector.

 "The annual awards are intended to serve as an inspiration for replicating community success," said Linda Lamp, executive director of WNC Communities. 

"We are honored to recognize community development clubs for their innovative programs and hard work. These groups are the key to successful rural life in our mountains and will be for many years to come," she said.

The range of programs recognized include those addressing basic needs through a food pantry, an emergency shelter, thrift stores or litter sweeps, to significant programs focused on education, heritage, economic development, farmland preservation or health and wellness.

More than $33,000 was presented to 62 community programs this year in the following categories: Communities of Distinction, Communities of Promise and Participating Communities for successful projects implemented during the past year.

Both the Deep Gap and Todd Ruritan clubs were honored as Participating Communities and awarded $300 each.

The organizations participating in the WNC Honors Awards Program are judged on projects, fundraising, collaboration with local organizations or businesses, economic development and sustainability and community future and vision.

The 2013 event sponsors included Harrah's Cherokee Casino and Hotel, Duke Energy, Mission Health, Buncombe County Farm Bureau, Carolina Farm Credit, First Citizens Bank, HomeTrust Bank, Telco Community Credit Union and Wells Fargo.